Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 27th Feb 2008 22:32 UTC
FreeBSD FreeBSD 7.0 has been released. "The FreeBSD Release Engineering Team is pleased to announce the availability of FreeBSD 7.0-RELEASE. This is the first release from the 7-STABLE branch which introduces many new features along with many improvements to functionality present in the earlier branches."
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Comment by sbergman27
by sbergman27 on Wed 27th Feb 2008 22:45 UTC
sbergman27
Member since:
2005-07-24

Dramatic improvements in performance and SMP scalability shown by various database and other benchmarks, in some cases showing peak performance improvements as high as 350% over FreeBSD 6.X under normal loads and 1500% at high loads. When compared with the best performing Linux kernel (2.6.22 or 2.6.24) performance is 15% better.


While I think that the large improvements under certain workloads is exciting, and congratulate the devs on the results of their work... I'm trying to think of a Linux distro which has put out a press release about a new offering which goes out of its way, in the first paragraph, to diss FreeBSD. And I can't think of one.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by sbergman27
by anomie on Wed 27th Feb 2008 22:52 UTC in reply to "Comment by sbergman27"
anomie Member since:
2007-02-26

I don't see it as a diss, per se. Linux 2.6 kernel is well known for good performance. The comment in the announcements provides some basis for comparison that a relatively wide audience should understand.

Reply Score: 19

RE[2]: Comment by sbergman27
by WereCatf on Wed 27th Feb 2008 23:04 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by sbergman27"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Agreed. I also think the point is more likely to just show that they have really worked a lot towards improving the performance, even so much that in some cases they rival the Linux kernel. In essence I think they are just proud of that, not trying to belittle Linux in any way as such.

Anyways, seems like they've really done a good job, congrats to the devs ;)

Reply Score: 12

RE[3]: Comment by sbergman27
by Liquidator on Thu 28th Feb 2008 10:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by sbergman27"
Liquidator Member since:
2007-03-04

I will use FreeBSD when it has *native* support for embedded Flash content. I need that for work.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by sbergman27
by Oliver on Wed 27th Feb 2008 23:07 UTC in reply to "Comment by sbergman27"
Oliver Member since:
2006-07-15

Just a comparison. But you'll not see this in any distro, because the real work is done in the kernel. And there you will see sometimes a real diss toward other operating systems (Windows, Solaris, BSD ...).

http://www.uwsg.indiana.edu/hypermail/linux/kernel/0604.2/1219.html

Just an example.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Comment by sbergman27
by Soulbender on Thu 28th Feb 2008 06:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by sbergman27"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

A mailing list post is not a press release.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by sbergman27
by Francis Kuntz on Thu 28th Feb 2008 08:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by sbergman27"
Francis Kuntz Member since:
2006-09-23

I claim that Mach people (and apparently FreeBSD) are incompetent idiots.
Playing games with VM is bad. memory copies are _also_ bad, but quite
frankly, memory copies often have _less_ downside than VM games, and
bigger caches will only continue to drive that point home.

Linus


Linus, still a dumass ....
The more I see Linus talking, the more I see him like an idiot.

He is speaking against closed source software, he should better think about his closed mind ...

Reply Score: 10

RE[3]: Comment by sbergman27
by WereCatf on Thu 28th Feb 2008 10:39 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by sbergman27"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Just a question here: do you happen to know a lot about TLBs, costs associated with invalidating those tables, and all the other related memory management issues? If not then on what basis are you calling him a "dumbass"? Just wondering...

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Comment by sbergman27
by evangs on Thu 28th Feb 2008 10:46 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by sbergman27"
evangs Member since:
2005-07-07

I suppose by the fact that the "incompetent idiots" (i.e. the FreeBSD and Mach people) are turning out software that rivals his own. If they were so incompetent and if Linus were so superior in his knowledge why isn't Linux (the kernel) way ahead?

Reply Score: 5

RE[5]: Comment by sbergman27
by WereCatf on Thu 28th Feb 2008 10:53 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by sbergman27"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Well, atleast Linus himself doesn't do any kernel related coding anymore, hasn't been doing quite some time actually. And maybe Linux just has gotten to a point that even he doesn't really know how to squeeze much more performance out of it?

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by sbergman27
by BluenoseJake on Thu 28th Feb 2008 16:54 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by sbergman27"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

Well, considering that Mach and FreeBSD are different products, lumping them together like that would make me consider him at least a little bit of a dumbass

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: Comment by sbergman27
by indiocolifa on Thu 28th Feb 2008 12:38 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by sbergman27"
indiocolifa Member since:
2006-06-20

"I claim that Mach people (and apparently FreeBSD) are incompetent idiots. Playing games with VM is bad. memory copies are _also_ bad, but quite frankly, memory copies often have _less_ downside than VM games, and bigger caches will only continue to drive that point home. Linus
Linus, still a dumass .... The more I see Linus talking, the more I see him like an idiot. He is speaking against closed source software, he should better think about his closed mind ... "

Honestly, Linus comments are targeted at the teenage "Linux or die" geeks, religious zealots, or people like that (Linus seems to like being the prophet for those oscurantists).

Well, I don't care a s**t about what this guy has to say, I simply don't consider him to contribute with scientific views, or valuable opinions, to the free-Unix community.

Edited 2008-02-28 12:42 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by sbergman27
by Tom K on Thu 28th Feb 2008 17:15 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by sbergman27"
Tom K Member since:
2005-07-06

What right does Linus have to rag on FreeBSD's VM subsystem when his own kernel's underwent how many rewrites due to brokenness beyond repair?

Reply Score: 0

RE: Comment by sbergman27
by Don T. Bothers on Wed 27th Feb 2008 23:09 UTC in reply to "Comment by sbergman27"
Don T. Bothers Member since:
2006-03-15

I don't think there is particularly anything wrong with it. On the contrary, I think it is very important information and that you are perhaps a little too sensitive. While FreeBSD never had performance issues on single processor systems, it has never been able to scale almost linearly on SMP based systems. This has been the focus of the project for several years and the comparison to Linux gives everyone a point of reference. What good does it do for them to state that there are substantial improvements compared to previous versions if they do not qualify what that exactly means? For example, if I was producing a car and stated that fuel efficiency has increased 1000% compared to last years model, are you going to run out and by my car? Well, you just purchased a car that gets 1 mpg. OTOH, if I qualify the statement and also inform you that efficiency rivals that of the Prius and in certain cases, you get 15% more miles per gallon, you now have a point of reference. I really think people need to be far less sensitive about things. If anything, I think it will give the Linux hackers more motivation to improve things.

Reply Score: 13

RE[2]: Comment by sbergman27
by sbergman27 on Thu 28th Feb 2008 02:15 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by sbergman27"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

I don't think there is particularly anything wrong with it. On the contrary, I think it is very important information and that you are perhaps a little too sensitive.


I'll agree with all of you that "dissing" was no doubt too strong a term. But it seems notable to me that they felt it necessary to drag out that MySQL benchmark, yet again, in the press release. With benchmarks and server loads, YMMV is a universal truth. Heck, sometimes even that OS out of Washington gets lucky! ;-) I should say that while the differences between 7 and previous versions are impressive... the 15% difference clocked between it and Linux is still in the noise, statistically speaking. I'm not at all upset that they came out 15% higher in a benchmark. You see, I consider myself to be a Unix advocate ahead of being a Linux advocate. (My unix advocacy predates the *existence* of Linux by a good 3 years.) If FreeBSD can show Linux a thing or two, then that's peachy with me. In fact, I recall that back when we were having VM troubles, FreeBSD was one of the places we looked for guidance. So please do not take my original comment as indicating that I am displeased with FreeBSD's advances, poorly stated as it perhaps was.

It's more a matter of my feeling that FreeBSD has enough going for it that there is no need for them to compare themselves to Linux in the press release, when there are so many solid advances to fill it with, instead.

Ironically, in pointing out that they were coming across as a little defensive, I ended up coming across as a bit defensive, myself. ;-)

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Comment by sbergman27
by evangs on Thu 28th Feb 2008 10:53 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by sbergman27"
evangs Member since:
2005-07-07


It's more a matter of my feeling that FreeBSD has enough going for it that there is no need for them to compare themselves to Linux in the press release, when there are so many solid advances to fill it with, instead.


That is why you still need a comparison to Linux. On its own a 350% improvement is bloody phenomenal. But the big question on everyone's mind when they read such a statement is how does that compare to what we already have? So by comparing it to Linux, it gives people a point of reference. I'm sure they could have done a comparison with Windows too, but then Windows isn't exactly reknown for it's SMP performance ;)

If anything, I find that the comparison to Linux is very good move by the FreeBSD team. If the FreeBSD team were some commercial entity whose only aim was to sell you FreeBSD licenses, their press release would say that FreeBSD 7 is 1500% faster than previous versions. 1500% > 350% > 15% so it looks better for marketing. You would then have to dig through the fine print to see how this 1500% improvement would translate to a 15% improvement over the 2.6.22 Linux kernel.

Which approach would you prefer?

Reply Score: 6

RE: Comment by sbergman27
by Chezz on Thu 28th Feb 2008 00:10 UTC in reply to "Comment by sbergman27"
Chezz Member since:
2005-07-11

it is not dissing, it is a fact. FreeBSD was on top before and everyone knew that performance comes with FreeBSD ;) Now they are back on top and they love it

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by sbergman27
by Soulbender on Thu 28th Feb 2008 06:04 UTC in reply to "Comment by sbergman27"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

I'm trying to think of a Linux distro which has put out a press release about a new offering which goes out of its way, in the first paragraph, to diss FreeBSD.


When you're the underdog it's quite common to compare yourself favorably to the one you're trying to beat.
But yeah, it's sort of cheap to put it in the press release.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by sbergman27
by John.Gustafsson on Thu 28th Feb 2008 19:14 UTC in reply to "Comment by sbergman27"
John.Gustafsson Member since:
2005-08-08

"Dramatic improvements in performance and SMP scalability shown by various database and other benchmarks, in some cases showing peak performance improvements as high as 350% over FreeBSD 6.X under normal loads and 1500% at high loads. When compared with the best performing Linux kernel (2.6.22 or 2.6.24) performance is 15% better.


While I think that the large improvements under certain workloads is exciting, and congratulate the devs on the results of their work... I'm trying to think of a Linux distro which has put out a press release about a new offering which goes out of its way, in the first paragraph, to diss FreeBSD. And I can't think of one.
"

They are not dissing Linux, they are praising it. You only compare to the ones that are worth beating, and for FreeBSD Linux is the one to beat. Not Windows nor the other *BSDs.

Reply Score: 1

USB Keyboard problems....:(
by Geekius Maximus on Thu 28th Feb 2008 00:36 UTC
Geekius Maximus
Member since:
2008-02-28

One thing annoying me greatly here: if there's a usb keyboard present during boot process, the kernel just panics. If I add my usb keyboard AFTER the booting is done, the keyboard works normally. ;)

Moreover, if the kernel finds a usb mouse during the booting process, it mysteriously disables the corresponding usb port and I cannot make that port operational again until I reboot. ;)

I've googled a bit and found out that quite handful of other people were experiencing this rather annoying nuissance.

I am more than satisfied with this release, but this one little "bug" is really bugging me...disconnecting my all usb input devices then reconnecting them everytime I turn on my pc...this is very annoying to me. ;)

Reply Score: 4

RE: USB Keyboard problems....:(
by Oliver on Thu 28th Feb 2008 00:44 UTC in reply to "USB Keyboard problems....:("
Oliver Member since:
2006-07-15

Of course an operating system should panic because of bogus usb devices, but in the end it's a problem with the device. Usb _is_ crap and operating systems like *BSD or Linux have to implement lot of patches to work with those crappy devices.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: USB Keyboard problems....:(
by arokh on Thu 28th Feb 2008 10:19 UTC in reply to "RE: USB Keyboard problems....:("
arokh Member since:
2008-01-29

I hope you're not serious.

Reply Score: 0

wannabe geek Member since:
2006-09-27

I hope you are kidding, but I've been puzzled by this kind of argument in GNU/Linux forums time and again.

So if a witch doctor can cure a snake bite a "real" doctor can't, that's shame on the witch doctor: curing a snake bite is a hack; the Right Thing to do is to avoid being bitten, hm? ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: USB Keyboard problems....:(
by atriq on Thu 28th Feb 2008 14:03 UTC in reply to "RE: USB Keyboard problems....:("
atriq Member since:
2007-10-18

...did you just say that an OS should panic due to an external peripheral being plugged in?

Reply Score: 1

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

...did you just say that an OS should panic due to an external peripheral being plugged in?


Why not? It's a long-standing tradition.

http://tinyurl.com/se967

Reply Score: 2

v RE[4]: USB Keyboard problems....:(
by atriq on Thu 28th Feb 2008 15:05 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: USB Keyboard problems....:("
RE: USB Keyboard problems....:(
by Yoke on Thu 28th Feb 2008 07:02 UTC in reply to "USB Keyboard problems....:("
Yoke Member since:
2005-08-28

Hey, that's just solid engineering for you. And remember, it's not a FreeBSD-problem, it's a USB-problem. The fact that Linux can handle it just shows what a hack that system is. Here is another example of that:
http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.os.freebsd.stable/53443

Reply Score: 1

RE: USB Keyboard problems....:(
by Doc Pain on Sat 1st Mar 2008 00:11 UTC in reply to "USB Keyboard problems....:("
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

You're mentioning a valid problem. I may say that I had similar problems with an USB MP3 player, but I found out that the player was a totally crappy device, not conforming to any existing standard (except the plug). I just say this: kernel quirk.

Regarding the USB keyboard: There are cases when you need your "old" AT keyboard. For example, during boot manager and boot loader operations, the USB keyboard does not work. I found the same problem in Linux. But I think it's a problem that many mainboards / BIOSes seem to have, others are able to emulate AT keyboard via USB, at least I think so. But after booting the kernel and loading the USB keyboard / mouse driver, there should not be any problem.

One thing annoying me greatly here: if there's a usb keyboard present during boot process, the kernel just panics. If I add my usb keyboard AFTER the booting is done, the keyboard works normally. ;)


Wow, that's really strange. May I ask which kind of keyboard it is? Personally, I have used differen USB keyboards (Sun Type 6, Apple with hub) without any problems.

Moreover, if the kernel finds a usb mouse during the booting process, it mysteriously disables the corresponding usb port and I cannot make that port operational again until I reboot. ;)


Hu... much more stange! If you've enabled usbd, it should activate moused for the USB mouse, but the port should not be disabled.

What does usbdevs -v say?

I've googled a bit and found out that quite handful of other people were experiencing this rather annoying nuissance.


So it seems to be a problem of a keyboard not conforming to the specifications FreeBSD's ukbd driver follows.

I am more than satisfied with this release, but this one little "bug" is really bugging me...disconnecting my all usb input devices then reconnecting them everytime I turn on my pc...this is very annoying to me. ;)


I'd use an AT keyboard and a PS/2 mouse instead ("old stuff") rather than playing with the cables... :-)

A final note, just in case you didn't know or start wondering: While in Linux you can access an AT and an USB keyboard in parallel (e. g. one keyboard for each hand), FreeBSD uses "kbdcontrol -k /dev/kbdX" to change the active keyboard (where X is 0, 1, ... corresponding to the keyboards detected - mostly kbd0 = atkbd0, kbd1 = ukbd0). So you can only use one keyboard at a time.

At the moment, I have these:

% dmesg | grep "^u[km]"
ums0: Sun Microsystems Type 6 USB mouse, rev 1.00/1.02, addr 2, iclass 3/1
ums0: 3 buttons
ukbd0: Sun Microsystems Type 6 USB keyboard, rev 1.00/1.02, addr 3, iclass 3/1

Works perfectly here.

Reply Score: 3

Virtualization
by Bayreuth on Thu 28th Feb 2008 00:40 UTC
Bayreuth
Member since:
2008-02-13

I hazard from the interview with the developers that this doesn't virtualize well with Virtualbox?

Edited 2008-02-28 00:40 UTC

Reply Score: 1

IPSec
by kill on Thu 28th Feb 2008 03:53 UTC
kill
Member since:
2005-11-03

I have not been able to test any of the recent 7.0s yet. Anyone tested if fast_ipsec plus support for crypto hardware in this release is good for production? Thanks!

Reply Score: 1

Lots of FreeBSD people in OSNews
by sonic2000gr on Thu 28th Feb 2008 06:49 UTC
sonic2000gr
Member since:
2007-05-20

Anyone noticed how many "thumbs up" every FreeBSD related article gets on OSNews? There are plenty of FreeBSD's friends reading this site.

Reply Score: 7

TaterSalad Member since:
2005-07-06

Thats because its good to see something other than linux making headlines.

Reply Score: 3

ZFS
by Laurence on Thu 28th Feb 2008 09:11 UTC
Laurence
Member since:
2007-03-26

I've been waiting excitedly for this release just fr ZFS.

This will (hopefully) ease a number of problems I've had with upgrading HDD space and backs ups on my home server.

Reply Score: 5

Still no DVD image
by miscz on Thu 28th Feb 2008 10:05 UTC
miscz
Member since:
2005-07-17

And installation media is now 3 CDs. Come on...

Reply Score: 0

RE: Still no DVD image
by sonic2000gr on Thu 28th Feb 2008 11:03 UTC in reply to "Still no DVD image"
sonic2000gr Member since:
2007-05-20

It is trivial to create a DVD. I will upload a torrent to tuxdistro.com in the afternoon.

Still, most people just need the first CD. The rest are only useful if you intend to install ready made packages from CD.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Still no DVD image
by vermaden on Thu 28th Feb 2008 11:16 UTC in reply to "Still no DVD image"
vermaden Member since:
2006-11-18

Most people do Net install or use CD1 only to install base and then rebuild base system and ports.

If you need DVD you can create it yourself without any problems: http://bsdforums.org/forums/showthread.php?t=49882

Reply Score: 3

RE: Still no DVD image
by Doc Pain on Thu 28th Feb 2008 11:38 UTC in reply to "Still no DVD image"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

And installation media is now 3 CDs. Come on...


As it has been mentioned correctly before, only CD1 is needed for a base install, afterwards you can install everything else over the Internet using the ports or packages, as you like. The CDs are useful if no Internet connection is available, so you can take the precompiled packages and install the applications you like. 3 CDs isn't that much, is less than an installation DVD (or set of DVDs). As far as I know, you can even use the live system CD to setup a system, allthough it's used for diagnostics, maintenance and rescue operations in most cases.

Personally, I only need CD1, recorded it onto CD yesterday. CDs are still cheaper than DVDs, and come computers - hey, you can imagine this! - don't have the proper drives to create or read DVDs, so the CDs (from which you select what you're going to need) is very welcome. This concept is well intended.

This weekend is going to be big fun to me - new release, more speed. That's something that makes me happy each time a new FreeBSD comes out. It's one of the reasons I'm glad that FreeBSD is my main OS since the days of 4.0. =^_^=

And I'd like to add and sing:

Good morning BSD,
I got a feeling that it's gonna be a wonderful day.
The Sun in the sky has a T1 on its face
and it's shining to salute to the SGI's in place.

*takes newspaper* FreeBSD 7.0-RELEASE available for download!

Oh boy, it's well to say:
"Good norning BSD."

Good morning BSD!

Reply Score: 4

RE: Still no DVD image
by sonic2000gr on Thu 28th Feb 2008 18:22 UTC in reply to "Still no DVD image"
sonic2000gr Member since:
2007-05-20

Here is your DVD if you still want to download it:

http://www.tuxdistro.com/torrents-details.php?id=921

To make your own, look at these instructions:

http://www.pa.msu.edu/~tigner/bsddvd.html

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Still no DVD image
by miscz on Thu 28th Feb 2008 19:40 UTC in reply to "RE: Still no DVD image"
miscz Member since:
2005-07-17

Thanks. It's much easier to get basic environment and desktop from a single DVD. Regular installation is just crazy disc juggling. If I went with FreeBSD installer requests I'd have to change them about 100 times o_O

also, vote parent up ;)

Edited 2008-02-28 19:42 UTC

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: Still no DVD image
by phoenix on Thu 28th Feb 2008 22:57 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Still no DVD image"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

Or, use the netinst, get the basic install on the disk, boot into is, and use "pkg_add -r kde3" to get a full-blown KDE install via binary packages. (Substitute whatever WM you want for kde3.)

It's a personal pet peeve of mine that you can install anything beyond the base OS via sysinstall, and that you can use sysinstall to configure things once the install is done. The installer should just install the OS and configure it enough to boot. Everything else can be done once you are booted into the OS.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Still no DVD image
by miscz on Fri 29th Feb 2008 11:44 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Still no DVD image"
miscz Member since:
2005-07-17

That leaves you waiting for everything to download which is inconvenient when FreeBSD servers are hammered by everyone installing new release. I'd rather jump into semi-working environment instantly.

Reply Score: 2

Congrats FreeBSD devs!
by Arabian on Thu 28th Feb 2008 11:31 UTC
Arabian
Member since:
2007-01-23

I just started upgrading my servers to FreeBSD 7.0-STABLE.

Thanks for hard work in the SMP and new ULE ;)

Reply Score: 1

Always.
by lifeforms on Thu 28th Feb 2008 12:25 UTC
lifeforms
Member since:
2006-05-22

Always one day after installing a new server in the datacenter. Always one day.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Always.
by evangs on Thu 28th Feb 2008 12:43 UTC in reply to "Always."
evangs Member since:
2005-07-07

Sod's Law in action.

Reply Score: 2

v I tried to use it as desktop but
by reduz on Thu 28th Feb 2008 14:05 UTC
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

I kind of failed. While the hybrid packaging/compiling system works well, I find configuring everything a desktop needs, by editing dozens of config files (many of which i have no idea about their existence) in randomly placed locations, to be really, really hackish. Even non-desktop linux distros such as debian have /etc/alternatives to select which version of what you need. I'd really love to see more improvements in that area of FreeBSD, as it rememinds me of using Solaris, or Slackware Linux in 1995.


I never had much problems running a Gnome desktop on FreeBSD 6.x (IIRC I didn't have to do that much hacking - but then I only really used it to play MP3s and surf the net)

However, if you're struggling, then you're better off downloading DesktopBSD as it's bascially FreeBSD but already hacked for the desktop (the name says it all really).

Edited 2008-02-28 14:24 UTC

Reply Score: 2

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

I am just a bit curious about BSD atm so I have a few things I'd like to ask.. Does "FreeBSD" name mean that there will be no proprietary software to be available from the Ports tree? I'd rather have it available, I don't really have anything against proprietary software. And well, would FreeBSD (or such) have any advantages over a Linux installation? I've understood that in the end they're pretty much alike.

Reply Score: 2

Oliver Member since:
2006-07-15

No the name FreeBSD hasn't anything to do with the strange belief of some GNUish people. It has something to do with the first *free* BSD. The daemon is free -> FreeBSD. So you will find anything possible in the ports.

>And well, would FreeBSD (or such) have any advantages over a Linux installation?

-different development model (quality first, quantity last - long testing cycles)
-ports (18.000+ applications and so on without the system included like in all Linux distros (userland))
-development of the whole operating system from the same team (no Babylonian-like devlopment)
-30 years of history in development of an UNIX system
-nice code and a real documentation (handbook, code etc.) -> superior quality and reliability
-BSDL (free as in real freedom aka you can do with it whatever you want)
-no need to recompile applications between releases
-no breaking ABIs

and so on. Of course you'll not see any difference while using KDE etc. but you'll see the difference while working with FreeBSD. It is just a difference to work with a free UNIX-derivative. And if it is "too hard" just use DesktopBSD. A 100% compatible FreeBSD but preconfigured for the beginner (64bit too).

http://www.desktopbsd.net

Edited 2008-02-28 17:20 UTC

Reply Score: 6

lifeforms Member since:
2006-05-22

Oh no, not at all. FreeBSD is one of the most pragmatic BSD's. Pretty much everything is in the ports tree.

From a end user's perspective, there's not much difference between Linux and FreeBSD. You can run the same software and most of the commands are alike. Some years, Linux will be faster on some workloads, then the next year FreeBSD will overtake it, et cetera...

My personal preference still remains FreeBSD, because I like the unified approach. File locations, command names, manpages, and handbook are all very consistent. It feels very thought out, and stuff doesn't change around. With Linux, I often felt that I had to learn a whole new OS every few years... Now, I generally only use Linux for running VMware.

But, both are very stable, both are very good, and they get the job done!

Reply Score: 7

Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

File locations, command names, manpages, and handbook are all very consistent. It feels very thought out, and stuff doesn't change around.


I'd like to add the high quality of the manpages. They do not only cover system tools, they include documentations for programming interfaces, libraries, system calls and maintenance procedures.

Furthermore, the source code of the FreeBSD OS is very tidy and well structured and documented. The source is of high quality, too.

Reply Score: 2

rhavenn Member since:
2006-05-12

I am just a bit curious about BSD atm so I have a few things I'd like to ask.. Does "FreeBSD" name mean that there will be no proprietary software to be available from the Ports tree? I'd rather have it available, I don't really have anything against proprietary software. And well, would FreeBSD (or such) have any advantages over a Linux installation? I've understood that in the end they're pretty much alike.


The only thing you're not going to find that really is a killer for most people is native Flash support. Gnash works somewhat and the Linux emulation Firefox and Flash works okay, but crashes a lot and audio is crappy. I wish Adobe would just release a "framework" or something to let people port to other systems if they don't want to do it. If Java can go open source I'm sure Flash can as well.

Reply Score: 1

fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

While the hybrid packaging/compiling system works well, I find configuring everything a desktop needs, by editing dozens of config files (many of which i have no idea about their existence) in randomly placed locations, to be really, really hackish.


Another good choice for you is PC-BSD. Give it a try, I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

Reply Score: 4

renhoek Member since:
2007-04-29

thank you, i fully agree. some people are modding you down but don't get fooled by that. ports/packges is not the best system. i'm currently running freebsd-update and that seems properly done (with rollbacks and stuff). but that is only for the base system.

but ports 2.0 is coming, just keep hoping (and try pc-bsd in the meanwhile ;) )

Reply Score: 2

dindin Member since:
2006-03-29

"but ports 2.0 is coming, just keep hoping"

What is ports 2.0?

Reply Score: 1

rhavenn Member since:
2006-05-12

I kind of failed. While the hybrid packaging/compiling
system works well, I find configuring everything a desktop needs, by editing dozens of config files (many of which i have no idea about their existence) in randomly placed locations, to be really, really hackish.


All core system settings are in /etc
All settings / config files for ports installed software is in /usr/local/etc/

Personally, FreeBSD's layout of startup and config scripts puts any Linux distro to shame. Linux throws everything in /etc and makes it very difficult to seperate the "core" form any addons / packages install afterwords.

Reply Score: 3

atriq Member since:
2007-10-18

Wouldn't that stem from the fact that there is no actual "core" and "addons." It'd be hard to make that distinction on linux since it would be arbitrarily set differently in every distro. Considering the two options, having everything in /etc is probably for the best.

Reply Score: 3

celt Member since:
2005-07-06

No, no, no...

It should be very clear what binaries and related config files are part of the default system and those that are user added, be it Linux, BSD, Solaris or whatever.

This is the very reason seasoned admins gravitate to the BSD's - correctness.

Edited 2008-02-29 19:13 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

[I tried to use it as desktop but] I kind of failed. While the hybrid packaging/compiling system works well, I find configuring everything a desktop needs, by editing dozens of config files (many of which i have no idea about their existence) in randomly placed locations, to be really, really hackish.


As it has been mentioned correctly before, nothing is "randomly placed" in FreeBSD, not even arbitrary. File locations are logically structured and support the distinction between the base OS and the additional software.

Regarding the OS, every configuration file is documented. Read well: Configuration files are documented! So, if you want to know something about /etc/rc.conf, you just "man rc.conf".

Regarding additional software, it's mostly up to the port maintainers and the authors of the software. Don't expect manpages everywhere. While "man mplayer" gives you a good manual, most parts of, for example, KDE do not come with manpages (sadly...).

For file locations and the structure of the file system, refer to "man hier" where the hierarchy is explained.

Even non-desktop linux distros such as debian have /etc/alternatives to select which version of what you need.


The /etc directory only contains config files for the base system. Every additional configuration is placed in /usr/local/etc. This is because everything that does not belong to the base OS resides in /usr/local where you have the commonly known substructures like bin/, lib/ or include/. For many files, default values exist in /etc/defaults or /usr/local/etc/defaults respectively.

I'd really love to see more improvements in that area of FreeBSD, as it rememinds me of using Solaris, or Slackware Linux in 1995.


I don't know which "improvements" you could be talking about. In fact. Just because Linux distributions don't divide between "just the OS" and "everything else" (because Linux distributions contain an arbitrary chosen set from both "classes"), I would not like to see FreeBSD getting untidy in these regards...

If you're willing to learn more, the FreeBSD handbook should answer all your questions. If you're not interested in learning why all this stuff is well intended, use preconfigured systems that are based upon FreeBSD, namely PC-BSD and DesktopBSD, which provide exvellent tools to do all the work.

Reply Score: 2